Biotechnology is a discipline which deals with living organisms and their products in large scale industrial processes and human services. It is an old field with new horizons and frontiers. Its potentials have been vastly enhanced by the development of recombinant DNA technology and sequencing of the genomes of important organisms in the recent past.
The fusion of recombinant DNA technology and genetic engineering techniques with the traditional methodologies has enormously strengthened this discipline with vast potential and applications. Humans around the world are already reaping immense benefits from these advancements in the fields of health, agriculture, industry and environment. Biotechnology is a highly interdisciplinary field. Whereas it requires inputs from biochemistry, microbiology, chemistry, genetics, engineering, and computer sciences, the aspects like product development, marketing and business have also to be included in formal training programs in biotechnology.
Teaching and research in the field of biotechnology must be strengthened in Pakistan not only to assimilate the progress made in the world but also to undertake research for solving the country's specific problems. This would only be possible by producing well-trained scientific manpower in the country. It is, therefore, imperative to initiate well-planned academic programs in the emerging areas of science like biotechnology.
Realizing importance of the field, the Departments of Environmental and Biosciences have initiated graduate program (MS/PhD) in the discipline of Biotechnology. The courses and research schemes have been designed keeping in view the students' background, current developments in the field, country's specific need and the guidelines set by the Higher Education Commission.
Objectives of the Program
To provide high quality education and training to the students to promote the pursuit of excellence in research at national and international level
To impart, integrate and augment education in the discipline of biotechnology and genetic engineering in Pakistan through competitive teaching and research
To create a nexus of tangible research that will provide solutions to environmental, industrial, agricultural and health problems
Major Focused Areas of Research
The broader thrust of biotechnology program is into health, agriculture, environment and industry with the following specific areas of research interest.
Mapping genetic diversity in plants and animals using genome based technologies
Understanding genetic mechanisms of biotic and abiotic stresses, quality and yield traits in important crop plants
Application of invitro technology and genetic engineering in plants and microbes
Genetic understanding of biochemical compounds in medicinal plants
Improving agriculture, environment and health through the application of biotechnology techniques